Welcome to Brow Farm were we hope to show you some of the fresh vegetables, salads and root crops grown at Brow Farm. Why not have a look around this web site to see how we grow some of the food that ends up on your table. (Potatoes, carrots, wheat, lettuce, leeks, cabbage, onions, barley, broccoli, cauliflower, barley, oats, wheatgrass) and much more.
 
 

WHAT IS LETTUCE?
Lettuce is the leaves of the lettuce plant. There are two main types of lettuce: head lettuce and leaf lettuce. The most familiar type of head lettuce is iceberg, but others include butterhead and romaine. Leaf lettuce comes in a variety of shapes and colours. Some have broad leaves; some have curly leaves; others have reddish leaves.

HOW IS LETTUCE PRODUCED?
Lettuce can be grown in fields or in greenhouses. For field lettuce, lettuce is seeded in a greenhouse and planted out as soon as the bed can be prepared. Some producers precision seed the lettuce directly into the field. Leaf lettuce is harvested about 50 days after planting while head lettuce takes closer to 75 days. Lettuce is planted in consecutive plantings so that there is a supply available throughout the growing season. That is, as soon as the first planting has germinated and emerged, the second planting is seeded. Head lettuce is harvested with the help of a mechanical harvesting aid, whereas the leaf lettuces are usually harvested by hand into cartons in the field.

In greenhouses, the lettuce is seeded in peat blocks and transplanted to the final media in 2 to 3 weeks in the summer or 4 to 6 weeks in the winter. The most common kind of lettuce grown in greenhouses is butterhead lettuce, which is loose heads of tender, rounded leaves. It is mature at 150 to 300g a head. The full cycle takes 6 to 7 weeks in summer and 10 to 12 weeks in the winter.

WHAT DOES LETTUCE LOOK LIKE WHEN I USE IT?
Lettuce is used fresh in salads or sandwiches and as a garnish.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE LETTUCE LEAVES THE FARM?
Once a truck is loaded with cartons, it is taken to the pack house where the lettuce is cooled immediately. It can then be held in cold storage or shipped directly to wholesale distributors in reefer (cooled) trucks. A general rule of thumb is that lettuce loses one day of shelf life for every hour that it is not cooled after harvest. Expected shelf life for lettuce is approximately two weeks. The majority of sales are in UK with some export sales into into Erupe.

WHAT CHALLENGES DOES THE LETTUCE PRODUCER FACE?
Lettuce is quite sensitive to most herbicides. Growers must find alternative ways to control weed growth during the growing season. Crop rotation, thorough clean-up of weeds before seeding, and tilling between rows are all practices which can help limit weed growth and labour intensive hand weeding. Growers also face intense competition from from abrord.

WHO'S INVOLVED IN PRODUCING LETTUCE?
Lettuce grower
Field worker
Agri-business suppliers


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